This Man feels cold. He wants a coat.
It costs $5,000. It’s warm and soft.
It’s quite heavy and and it will cost about $4,000. every year to carry it around and take care of it.
But, man…what a coat!
Only, that wasn’t the coat…
This is the Coat:
How is it that we can not afford to eat well,
but we can afford to eat too much?
Do we blame Fastfood for selling this stuff, or the people who eat it for being dumb and lazy? Both maybe? Or are there deeper psychological needs we must fill. Does this coat provide much needed warmth of a different sort?
Orwell and Wigan Pier
From George Orwell’s 1937 essay, The Road To Wigan Pier:
“The…family spend only tenpence a week on green vegetables and tenpence half-penny on milk and nothing on fruit; but they spend one and nine on sugar… and a shilling on tea. The half-crown spent on meat might represent a small joint and the materials for a stew; probably as often as not it would represent four or five tins of bully beef. The basis of their diet, therefore, is white bread and margarine, corned beef, sugared tea, and potatoes–an appalling diet. Would it not be better if they spent more money on wholesome things like oranges and wholemeal bread or if they even…saved on fuel and ate their carrots raw? Yes, it would, but the point is that no ordinary human being is ever going to do such a thing. The ordinary human being would sooner starve than live on brown bread and raw carrots. And the peculiar evil is this, that the less money you have, the less inclined you feel to spend it on wholesome food. A millionaire may enjoy breakfasting off orange juice and biscuits; an unemployed man doesn’t….When you are unemployed, which is to say when you are underfed, harassed, bored, and miserable, you don’t want to eat dull wholesome food. You want something a little bit ‘tasty’. There is always some cheaply pleasant thing to tempt you. Let’s have three penny worth of chips! Run out and buy us a twopenny ice-cream! White bread-and-margerine and sugared tea don’t nourish you to any extent, but they are nicer (at least most people think so) than brown bread and cold water. Unemployment is an endless misery that has got to be constantly palliated, and especially with tea, the English-man’s opium.”
Since this was written food marketers have jumped in with full force. They exploit small weaknesses to sell products. Sugar water replaced tea, and Big Mac’s replaced white bread and margarine. The perception of luxury in the food choices of the disadvantaged leads to substance abuse.
Coupled with the lack of real food choices in poor neighborhoods, (though of course not liquor stores), the outlook for the poor is terrible.
The difference is that in Orwell’s England the product of this diet was malnutrition, weakness and starvation. The poor looked poor. In our upside down world malnutrition still exists, but it’s wearing a $5000. overcoat. You don’t look malnourished when you’re overweight, but you can be.
White Powders, Black Hearts
Some white powders will put you behind bars. Others will imprison you in far subtler ways. Hostages of their own bodies, hugely overweight people are doomed to lives of discrimination and ill health. When the source of their problem is pharmaceutical we call it a disease, an addiction. When it’s dietary, we call it freedom of choice.
Food ‘deserts’ must be ‘irrigated’ with healthful choices. Healthful choices must be encouraged with education. Education must be stimulated by a desire to make something besides money. A functioning society would be a good start.
It’s long been understood that the difference between medicine and poison is the dosage. That’s also the difference between a food and a drug.
Coca Cola, Monsanto, or McDonald’s will agree with this the day that the Cali cartel starts advertising “just say no to drugs”. So it’s the responsibility of every individual to recognize that drugs come in many forms.
Some of the worst come in colorful plastic bottles.
Five percent of the population consumes more then four, 12-ounce cans of cola each day.
A glass of Coke now and then can be nice. Americans drank 13.5 billion gallons of carbonated drinks last year.
How Can We Fix This?
Simple. Simplify. Simplovore.
When you stop drinking candy with your meals, you stop needing so much candy in your meals. The twelve step program for sugar rejection is just a basic abstinence program. Force yourself to drink water with your food. After a few days you’ll find your food too sweet. Take out the mayonnaise from everything. (Find mayonnaise without sugar. Why is there sugar in mayonnaise anyway?) Not enough flavor? Take away the other unnecessary items, condiments or whatever. Break the chain, break old habits.
Soon, you’ll want to refine your choices. Try to keep it all simple. Improve single ingredients rather than adding stuff to compensate. Try to find ham without added sugar. That’s really difficult. Don’t bother with Whole Foods, or Trader Joe’s.
Then, notice how much more you can taste. Notice flavors, simple flavors which turn out to be less simple than you thought.
You also are what you don’t eat.
Cooking well doesn’t cost anything.
Flavor has no calories.